Welcome to Page 3...  Day One! - Page 3  (Friday, May 25th, 2007)  A continuation of the festivities at the VIP Dinner. 

Gregg Palmer and Emily
Michael and Ed Faulkner
Emily and A.C. Lyles

Most of you should know the background on these people but for those of you that don't here's some facts. 
First we have Gregg Palmer and my wife.  Gregg Palmer is probably best know for his role in Big Jake as the big bad fat man that killed "Dog".  But he was also in several other movies with Duke:  The Commancheros, The Undefeated, Chisum, Rio Lobo, Big Jake and The Shootist.  Other than that he was in everything you can think of from The Lone Ranger to Have Gun/Will Travel and even Star Trek: TOS.  He does an amazing story and imitates Duke, Gary Cooper, Jimmy Stewart and Red Cloud  He also does another little imitation that is just fantastic that I will put on here later.

Next we have myself and Ed Faulkner.  Ed was also in several movie with Duke, the most notable one for me was The Green Beret.  But he was also in: McLintock, Hellfighters, The Undefeated, Chisum and Rio Lobo.  He also did roles in Have Gun/Will Travel, Rawhide, Bonanza, The Virginian, The Mod Squad and even Gunsmoke.  He was a great guy to talk to, actually all of them were really down to earth.

Last but not least for the VIP Dinner is A.C. Lyles.  AC has been working at Paramount since he was 9 years old and now he's 89 so he's been at Paramount for over 79 years.  AC has done several things through out his career, as an actor he was in The Hunt for Red October, he was a crew member in a few episodes of HBO's Deadwood, everyone should remember that series.  As a Producer he did episodes of Rawhide and many other shows.  Him and Duke were very good friends as was Ronald Reagan.  Reagan commissioned him to sit on a couple Advisory Councils and eventually awarded him the
George Washington Award of the Freedoms Foundation.

George Washington Award of the Freedoms Foundation

We did have a politician speak, (they put me to sleep), Brownback I think his name was, it's someone the Wayne family is endorsing but I doubt he has much chance for President.  Ethan was suppose to make the dinner but was help up at Orange County airport.  He got bumped or something and ended up missing the festivities.  There were a couple of audio interviews, first with Harry Carey, Jr.  These were done prior to the celebration since they couldn't make the dinner.  The other audio interview was with Maureen O'Hara.  You could tell she would have really wanted to be there but her health was a factor from what I'm told.  She expressed her feelings of a very special friendship with Duke.  Her favorite movie she did with him was "The Quiet Man".  Maureen said: "Without being political, through his acting, he had a message.  He continues to show there is bravery and heart in this country."

The remainder of the evening included some presentations and an auction.  First Carolyn Wilson, the Manager of the Birthplace/Gift Shop, was presented with a plaque by David Trask, Chairman of the Birthplace Board, for her years of service and devotion.  On the plaque was a picture of a new flag that her and her husband had put up in front of the Birthplace.  Excuse the fuzzy picture, I thought I would have had a better seat buying my invitation early but I got stuck way in the back of the room.

Birthplace Gift Shop Carolyn Wilson & David Trask

A couple things they brought up before the auctions started.  They recognized a couple from Peoria, Illinois by the name of Nick and Terri Schaub, who founded the bronze statue fund years ago and have contributed to it regularly.  The fund now totals over $20,000 with contributions from them and other for the last several years.  I'll be showing you the statue later.  Another item is the saddle also on the main webpage here... they wanted to make sure everyone knew about the raffle and that you'd be buying a chance to win that $10,000 saddle which was bought and donated to the new museum.  So all money brought in from the raffle goes straight to the new museum fund.

Next was the auction.  It went sort of fast so I didn't get a chance to snap any pictures and I think some of the items were unplanned.  But here is a brief synopsis of what was auctioned and what things went for... 

10 DVD's of John Wayne Movies - $200.
100 Yr. Centennial Poster (Full Sized) signed by Michael Bryan - $5,000.
Lobby Cards of "Big Jake" - 2 Sets - Each set went for $250.
A white Stetson hat worn and signed by Melinda Munoz - $250.
A black Stetson hat worn and signed by Father Matt Munoz - $400.
A white Stetson hat signed by Melinda and Father Matt - $450.
An original theater marquee poster from Rooster Cogburn, signed by family members - $350.
I'm sure there were a few other items but my wife was doing the writing while I was doing the bidding.

One last item I do remember was a full sized original theater poster from the movie "The Quiet Man".  This was donated by Brian Downes, the person who put together the John Wayne Birthday Wild West Revue, to be put up on eBay for auction. The only requirement Brian had was that the starting bid be $15,000.  Yes, I said fifteen thousand dollars.  It was one of those huge original posters and it was in mint condition.  I've been told it has not gone up for auction yet. If your an extreme collector you can certainly call the Birthplace and they can tell you who to call to take about the poster. The wife just wouldn't let me go down that road. We're running out of wall space anyway.

The two people in the picture are Mary Terry, Chairperson of the Centennial Committee and the Auctioneer Pat Corkrean.


After we were done with the auction we were thanked for coming and were told we could mingle and talk with the co-stars or family members.  I tried to bid on a couple things but you know, the wife just didn't understand the value of a good collectible.  That's okay... I ended up getting something I wanted the next day that made up for not getting any of the auction items.  We left the Stoney Creek Inn and retired to our hotel about 20 minutes away.  it has been one long day, a full morning of traveling then checking out Winternet and then the VIP Dinner.  More to come... stay tuned.

If you would like to see all my photos from Day One, first you must be a member of the new JWMB and second you must request permission from me through the board messaging system.  This is only so I don't overload my bandwidth.  Here is the address for the photos:  Day One Digital Images